Board: Lewiston City Council

Met: Tuesday

Issue: A six-month moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries the council adopted is due to expire July 21. City staff said they need more time to come up with zoning rules that could regulate where in Lewiston the dispensaries will be allowed. Staff asked councilors to expend the moratorium for another six months.
The Scoop: The state last week announced licenses for two businesses in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties. Both are in Wilton, not Lewiston. Councilors wanted to know why a moratorium is still necessary if no dispensaries are coming to the city.
Planning Director Gil Arsenault said the state still could create additional licenses. A November 2009 vote also approved allowing private residents to grow medical marijuana for their family members and Arsenault suggested the city may want to have some zoning regulations for those operations.
Up Next: Councilors voted 5-2 to approve the six-month moratorium, with councilors Renee Bernier and John Butler dissenting. They then suspended rules and voted on the matter a second time, on final reading. That vote passed 5-2 again.

Lisbon Road condemnation
A fire destroyed a home at 55 Old Lisbon Road in November 2006. Property owner Frank Corrao, who planned to rebuild the property, was injured in an accident in 2007. Councilors moved forward with a condemnation plan that would give the city the ability to take the property and remove the fire-damaged structure.
Councilors approved the condemnation in 2008, but gave Corrao two years to make progress on redeveloping the house. If he makes progress, the condemnation process ends.
The condemnation process officially moves to the next step on July 15, meaning the city would move forward, taking over the property.
The Scoop
: Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau said Corrao and his family have been working on the structure. He suggested councilors give the family additional time, extending the condemnation until Aug. 15. If Corrao and his family apply for a building permit by that date and receive it by Sept. 30, the city would end condemnation proceedings.
Up Next: Councilors agreed, giving Corrao and his family more time to complete development.

Fire code
Issue: The National Fire Protection Association produces a national list of fire codes. They spell out specifications for minimum construction rules for new construction to be considered safe  in case of a fire. Those codes are updated every few years.
Lewiston currently uses the NFPA 2002 standard. A new standard was adopted and published in 2006.
The Scoop: Councilors voted to set the 2006 codes as the standards for construction going forward on first reading.
Up Next: They’ll vote on them a second time on Aug. 10.

Festival permits
Special events that use public spaces, like city parks, require council permission. Councilors generally look at bathrooms, security and cleanup afterwards before granting a permit.
The Scoop: Councilors approved the outdoor entertainment permit for the Great Falls Balloon Festival, Aug. 20-22 in Simard Payne Park.
Councilors also approved a permit for The Bridge 2010,  a Christian-rock concert scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, in Kennedy Park and a permit for the Unity in Action Gospel Tent Ministries, a series of concerts and prayer meetings scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. nightly July 20 to 24.

Liquor licenses
: Local restaurants and bars must reapply for liquor licenses and amusement permits each year. Liquor licenses permit the establishments to serve alcohol; amusement permits allow them to play music, have a DJ, host karaoke or have games on site.
The scoop:
Councilors approved a new liquor license and special amusement permit for the Pedro O’Hara’s at 134 Main St. They renewed special amusement permits for Acme Social Club, 255 Park St., The Dawg House, 1018 Sabattus St., and Irish Twins Pub, 743 Main St.

Next meeting: The next regular meeting of the Lewiston City Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday , Aug. 10.

Contact government reporter Scott Taylor via phone at 689-2846 or via e-mail at [email protected]

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